MISSISSIPPI MILLS — Nearly 200 additional households in Clayton will get access to high-speed Internet delivered by fibre-optic cable as Storm Internet Services has landed federal funding to expand its existing fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network in the rural Eastern Ontario community this year.
“The first houses will be hooked up in July and we’ll be finished by the end of November,” says Storm Internet Services owner Birket Foster of the 30-km expansion, which is receiving over $513,000 in support out of the Universal Broadband Fund’s $150-million ‘Rapid Response Stream.’
The project builds upon a core 15 km fibre-line network that Storm completed last year in Clayton as a “proof of concept” endeavour, delivering urban-style broadband service to about 90 homes at the time. Clayton is located within the bounds of the Town of Mississippi Mills, a municipality only 50 km west of Parliament Hill that lacked any kind of wired Internet service until Storm came along.
Available speeds on Storm’s Clayton FFTH service range from 50 Mbps (upload and download) to 100 Mbps (upload and download), up to “Gigabit” speeds (940 Mbps, upload and download), according to Foster.
“Storm Internet is committed to helping solve the digital divide by providing world-class Internet services to our customers,” said Michel Lalonde, VP Construction and Operations, Storm Internet. “Since 2019, through private funding, Storm Internet has invested in the Clayton/Mississippi Mills community by delivering fibre connectivity to 127 homes and bringing them into the 21st century digital world. The Universal Broadband Fund Rapid Response Stream funding will allow us to expand our existing fibre network to cover an additional 198 homes. We are pleased and excited to offer this expansion of our fibre optic network to the Lanark community, where we are the primary wireless Internet Service Provider.”
Serving both residential and small-to-medium sized business clients across Eastern Ontario since 1996, Storm provides high-speed access across 8,000 square kilometers of the Ottawa Valley and beyond — with a particular focus on wireless delivery. Storm also operates as a third-party DSL and cable internet reseller in more urban markets. The firm has experience with fibre-optic Internet delivery as well.
“Never has the digital divide between urban and rural services been clearer. Reliable, high speed internet expansion in underserved areas such as Clayton is a key priority for the County Council,” said Mississippi Mills Mayor Christa Lowry, also Warden of Lanark County, commenting on Storm’s FTTH expansion. “We recognize the challenges of installing fibre and wireless services and developed a new program, Connect Lanark, to assist and offset some of the high costs of installing this necessary infrastructure to bridge the gap for families,” added Lowry.
The Connect Lanark program offers a one-time grant of up to $2000 to qualified applicants to assist with installation of the necessary infrastructure to access reliable broadband internet. The total project may exceed $2000, however the applicant would be responsible for paying any balance over and above the grant amount. Applicants must meet income and asset limits to be eligible for the program.
“Storm Internet Services has been forging its own way as a dedicated provider of fibre and wireless services in Lanark County for many years. I am thrilled with their success and the support of the federal government for this desperately needed project and look forward to working with Storm,” said Lowry.
The Clayton project is among 27 connectivity upgrades in rural Ontario tapping into a combined $16-million in rapid response stream funding announced by Minister Maryam Monsef on June 25.
Monsef, the federal minister responsible for rural economic development, observed that there are “so many Canadians right here in Ontario who don’t have access to this essential service, whose experience of Covid-19 has been that much harder because of an unreliable internet connection, or no internet connection at all. Come this Christmas, there will be more households who will have access to high speed internet who didn’t have that access last Christmas.”
Applications to the Rapid Response Stream were made through Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).
“In a world where #WorkFromHome and #LearnFromHome has come to the forefront, we are pleased to be able to partner with ISED to deliver a GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) FTTH solution which will provide a future-proofed solution to the community and to enable our continued expansion in the region,” said Storm Chief Financial Officer Danny Frangione. “At Storm, we help both rural and urban residents and businesses obtain affordable, reliable internet, with a long term view that we can deliver what is needed and will be needed. This is especially important now to ensure that rural areas have the same access to services from government, education, financial services, healthcare, eCommerce as do their urban
Those interested in Storm’s Clayton area fibre project are asked to get in touch with the company by:
● contacting Storm’s residential sales team at 613-567-6585
● Filling in the online application form
● contacing Samantha Hetherington, Marketing Specialist, Storm Internet — email@example.com